The Current

NASA aerospace engineer says we need to do more to stop killer asteroids

There are 1700 "potentially hazardous" asteroids around Earth, says NASA aerospace engineer.
An asteroid exploded over Arizona skies just before 4 a.m, June 2, 2016. Only 90 kilometers from the earth, the light from the explosion was 10 times the brighter than a full moon. (Joe Wright/Youtube)

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On June 2, 2016, NASA confirmed the bright burst of light over Arizona skies to be an asteroid exploding — a mere 90 kilometers above the earth. This came just a few days after another asteroid event in Mexico, where sonic booms and bright flashes marked an asteroid's entry into the earth's atmosphere. 

These recent close calls have brought attention to those scientific voices urging the world to pay more attention to asteroids, and the threat they pose. 

[Stopping an asteroid from hitting us] would certainly be in my view one of the most momentous events in human history.- Brent Barbee, Aerospace Engineer with NASA

On The Current, we discuss the likelihood of a catastrophic asteroid hitting Earth, the impact it would have, and the work that is being done to avoid such an event. 

We actually have in principle the means and the technology to stop one of these asteroids from hitting us.-  Brent Barbee, Aerospace Engineer with NASA

  • Michael Daly, York University research chair in Planetary Science, and lead scientist on a NASA asteroid mission.
  • Brent Barbee, an Aerospace Engineer with NASA. 

This segment was produce by The Current's Willow Smith.